The official announcement by the Xi Jinping-led Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of a “20-year investigation” into Inner Mongolia’s coal resources sector began on Feb. 28, 2020, and so far, as in the 2014 Shanxi official earthquake, dozens of department-level officials have fallen in addition to provincial and ministerial officials. The official collapse in Shanxi involves the vice state level of the order plan, compared to the official earthquake in Inner Mongolia is too deep, involving the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Political Bureau level of the giant tiger.
Inner Mongolia officialdom “20 years backward investigation”
On Feb. 26, the Discipline Inspection Commission of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region announced the news of five more officials, including three at the department level, one at the deputy department level and one at the division level, making at least 40 officials at the department level in Inner Mongolia. Although the Beijing authorities started the investigation in the name of “reversing 20 years” of Inner Mongolia’s coal resources sector, the Communist Party’s officialdom has always been notorious for its numerous and intertwined roots, and the corruption problem can never be confined to just one area.
In this regard, the official media Xinhua News Agency recently released the top 10 anti-corruption buzzwords in Inner Mongolia’s official circles in 2020, and the first one in the list is naturally “20 years backward investigation”. The “20 years backward investigation” covers many fields, and the coal field is just a pretext for the “famous division”.
A major bloodletting in Inner Mongolia’s officialdom for “20 years of backtracking”
In the eve of the “two sessions” of the Chinese Communist Party, the Standing Committee of the Inner Mongolia Party Committee is once again a major bloodletting, compared to 2016, only three Standing Committee members remain in office, most of the other Standing Committee members are in 2019 to take up new positions. The current Standing Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party Committee includes Shi Taifeng (Party Secretary), Bu Xiaolin (Deputy Secretary), Lin Shaochun (full-Time Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee), Wang Lixia (Secretary of the Hohhot Municipal Party Committee), Liu Qifan (Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission), Bai Yugang (Minister of Propaganda), Meng Fanli (Secretary of the Baotou Municipal Party Committee), Yang Weidong (Minister of Organization), Zhang Shaochun (Secretary General of the Party Committee), Duan Zhiqiang (Minister of United Front Work) , Zhang Enhui (Secretary of Xing’an League Committee), Ma Qinglei (Commander of Inner Mongolia Military Region) and other 12 people.
Previously, the Standing Committee of the CPC Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party Committee was Li Jiheng (Party Secretary, now Minister of Civil Affairs), Bu Xiaolin (Deputy Secretary), Li Jia (full-time Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee, now Chairman of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), Zhang Jianmin (Executive Vice Chairman), Nashun Menghe (Secretary of the Hohhot Municipal Party Committee, now Deputy Chairman of the National People’s Congress Ethnic Committee and Executive Vice Chairman of the Inner Mongolia People’s Congress), Tension (Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Committee , retired), Bai Yugang (Minister of Propaganda), Wang Zhonghe (Secretary of Baotou Municipal Party Committee), Zeng Yichun (Minister of Organization, now Vice Minister of the Central Organization Department), Zhang Yuanzhong (Secretary General of the Party Committee, now Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia People’s Congress), Wang Lixia (Minister of United Front Work Department, now Secretary of Hohhot Municipal Party Committee), Yang Junxing (Political Commissar of Inner Mongolia Military Region).
Only Bu Xiaolin, Wang Lixia and Bai Yugang remain in the Standing Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Party Committee.
Anti-corruption water deepens in Inner Mongolia officialdom
Since becoming general secretary of the Communist Party in 2012, Xi Jinping has joined forces with Wang Qishan to promote an “anti-corruption” campaign. 2014 has seen a number of senior and middle-ranking officials in Shanxi province investigated for corruption by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) or the Shanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection (SCDI), drawing attention from all sectors of China. In August alone, the Commission announced the investigation of four senior officials at the vice-ministerial level, including Jin Daoming (then vice chairman of the Shanxi People’s Congress), Shen Weichen (then vice chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology and former secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of Taiyuan), Ling Policy (then vice chairman of the Shanxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) and Du Shanxue (then member of the Shanxi Provincial Standing Committee and vice governor). The incident was officially characterized as “systematic and collapsing corruption”, and the collapsing corruption in Shanxi was closely related to the then Vice Chairman of the CPPCC and Minister of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee, Ling Plan.
Compared with the officialdom of Shanxi, there are not many officials above the level of deputy provincial ministry in Inner Mongolia, only the former secretary of the Hohhot municipal party committee Yun Guangzhong, former vice chairman of the Inner Mongolia CPPCC Ma Ming was investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection; but the fall of the Standing Committee of the Gansu Provincial Party Committee, executive vice governor Song Liang, but his long tenure in Inner Mongolia, before being transferred to Gansu was a member of the Standing Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tongliao municipal party secretary.
The bank was established in December 1998, but it was the first joint-stock commercial bank in Inner Mongolia and was once the largest local commercial bank in China. It was the largest local commercial bank in China. At the end of 2016, Baoshang Bank had total assets of RMB 431.6 billion. Xiao Jianhua, considered a white glove of Jiang Zemin and Zeng Qinghong’s Family, was taken away from Hong Kong by Beijing authorities on Jan. 27, 2017, when he was believed to be closely linked to Baoshang Bank’s rapid shortfall in 2017. Xiao Jianhua has not been heard from in the four years since his arrest.
In addition to the fact that Liu Yunshan, a former member of the Jiang faction’s Politburo Standing Committee, is from the Inner Mongolia official circle, two reports by Xinhua, the official media of the Communist Party of China, can illustrate the relationship between the top officials of the Jiang faction and the Inner Mongolia official circle. First, on July 29, 2007, Zeng Qinghong, then member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice President of the country, together with Hui Liangyu, Liu Yunshan, Wu Yunqimuge, Liu Yandong, Bai Lichen and Bucher, as well as Li Ji’nai, a member of the Central Military Commission, watched the performance of a special cultural party in Beijing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Second, on August 8, 2007, a 58-member delegation of the CPC Central Committee, headed by Zeng Qinghong, then member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Hui Liangyu, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Uyunqimuge, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee Liu Yandong, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Bai Lichen and Member of the Central Military Commission and Director of the General Political Department Li Ji’nai, arrived at Hohhot airport to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
In addition to Zeng Qinghong and Liu Yunshan, former CCP General Political Department Director Li Ji’nai was also among them. However, on December 25, 2020, Li Jinedai’s son Li Lei was officially announced to have fallen; Liu Yunshan was disclosed by the media in December 2020 to have appeared in Chaoshan, Guangdong, which is known to be an unwritten rule in the official circles of the Chinese Communist Party that the sudden appearance of a retired senior official will inevitably lead to speculation and discussion.
This is a good example of the depth of the “20 years backward investigation” in Inner Mongolia, and the level of the top officials involved is not comparable to the officialdom of Shanxi in 2014.